July 4th Safety & Illegal Fireworks06/15/2017
For many years, the private displays of fireworks on the 4th of July have been a tradition in Lewes and along the beachfront. However, the primary concern of the City of Lewes and the Police Department must always be the safety of our residents and visitors and the protection of our homes and property. Recently we have been contacted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal for the State of Delaware. They have advised us that due to numerous complaints they can no longer be reactive in their enforcement efforts on this matter. They have requested that the City join them in asking all residents to refrain from this activity, effective immediately. As a result, we want to communicate our intent to enforce the current laws prohibiting all types of fireworks and, more importantly educate everyone on the dangers of fireworks.
We all know that fireworks can and do cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries. According to the most recent statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2014 over 10,000 people were treated in our nation’s hospitals for injuries related to the use of fireworks. 35% of these injuries were to youths under the age of 15. Not surprisingly, the majority of these injuries occur around the 4th of July. Even the touch of a sparkler to the skin or eye of a child can be life-altering; a common sparkler can burn at temperatures exceeding 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, an estimated 18,000 fires were started by fireworks in 2011, as reported by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, with over $38 million in property damage. Our citizens, along with our beautiful homes and property along the beachfront deserve our protection.
For the safety of our community, our residents, and our children we respectfully ask everyone to do their part and obey the laws of the State. The Lewes Police Department will do our part by proactively enforcing these laws. If interested in organizing a professional licensed display in the future, we suggest you work with our dedicated elected officials.
As always, should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thomas R. Spell
Chief of Police